Sam McNulty's Top 5 in Cleveland
1. It's a tie:
Two bridges that will hopefully become public bike-hike trails. The RTA train valley running from West 65th and then across the Cuyahoga river valley on the redline rail bridge all the way downtown.
The rotary club is working hard to create a linear park that will make the highline in New York pale in comparison. The project is called the redline greenway. On a parallel track (pun intended:) is the bridge project that will hopefully open up the old subway level of the detroit superior bridge to create a covered bike-hike trail connecting ohio city to downtown. the views from this trail are epic as they take in lake erie, the entire cuyahoga river valley, downtown and ohio city.
2. The coast guard station at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, where it dumps out into Lake Erie is a spectacular place to sip a beer and watch the sun set ... or rise if you can stay up late!
3. With so many amazing chef driven restaurants in Ohio City, Tremont and Detroit Shoreway, I rarely leave this trio of cool neighborhoods, as the best places are found here. One exception is Sechuan Gourmet on East 36th and Payne. The best Asian cuisine in the city right now is tucked away in a windowless room in the back of the Tink Holl Asian Supermarket. The spicy beef tendon and ma po tofu are both to die for.
4. A perfect day is bicycling to Tremont and jumping on the towpath trail to cruise all the way down to peninsula. Grab a bite to eat and a beer at the trailside winking lizard, then load the bicycle up on the Cuyahoga Valley scenic railroad steam train for a northbound trek. Head immediately to the bar car for a road soda and hang out the window to watch the national parks forested landscape roll by. It feels far more like a European excursion than a jaunt so close to Cleveland.
5. Last, but certainly not least, is barhopping in Ohio City. If I had to pick my favorite nine spots for a big night's itinerary, it would flow like this: start at Velvet Tango Room and have Paulius suggest a cocktail, have a beer at Duck Island Club with my brother William as he's holding court with his dog Theo, on to Crop and take in the inspirational space and laid back vibe, on to Great Lakes Brewing Company to enjoy one of their pub exclusive brews, then to Speakeasy for a subterranean cocktail in the dim prohibition era vibe space, Market Garden for one of brewmaster Andy Tveekrem's magical creations sipped in the glow of the beer garden fireplace, at the Black Pig there's only one way to go.....ask chef Michael Nowak for his cocktail whim of the night, then on to Nano Brew for some rock and roll and house crafted brews, and finally shut down the night at the Old Angle where the craick and the powers whiskey flow freely.
Sam McNulty is an Ohio City bar owner, business owner and all around ambassador for Cleveland. Follow Sam on Twitter @SamMcNultyCLE.